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MLS playoff capsules: Toronto loses 1-0 to Red Bulls, advances on away goals

Houston Dynamo players celebrate a goal during the second leg of their 2017 MLS Cup soccer playoffs matchup against the Portland Timbers in Portland, Ore. on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Sean Meagher / Associated Press)
Houston Dynamo players celebrate a goal during the second leg of their 2017 MLS Cup soccer playoffs matchup against the Portland Timbers in Portland, Ore. on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Sean Meagher / Associated Press)

Dylan Remick and Mauro Manotas scored to send the Houston Dynamo through to the Western Conference final after a 2-1 victory over the host Portland Timbers in the second leg of their semifinal Sunday night.

The teams played to a scoreless draw in the first leg in Houston on Monday. The goals gave the Dynamo a 2-1 advantage on aggregate, setting up the conference final against the Seattle Sounders.

The Sounders, the defending MLS Cup champions, advanced 2-0 on aggregate against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Eastern Conference finals will feature Toronto FC against the Columbus Crew, who each claimed their semifinals early Sunday.

The Timbers were decimated by injuries going into the game and dealt a big blow on Saturday when defender Roy Miller ruptured an Achilles during training.

Midfielder Diego Chara broke a bone in his foot during the first leg on the chewed-up field in Houston. Fellow midfielder Darlington Nagbe injured his calf and center back Larrys Mabiala hurt his hip.

Portland was already without Fanendo Adi, who has been dealing with a lingering hamstring injury. Winger Sebastian Blanco didn’t play in the first leg after burning himself with boiling water while cooking. Defensive midfielder David Guzman also sat out the first match with a sprained knee.

Dairon Asprilla broke through in the 39th minute, booting a cross from Vytas over Joe Willis’ outstretched arm, then celebrating with a backflip. Asprilla had two goals and four assists this season.

Houston defender Dylan Remick, who slipped on the Asprilla goal, scored in the 43rd minute, getting past Timbers’ goalkeeper Jeff Antinella and silencing the sellout crowd at Providence Park. The away goal was crucial for the Dynamo, because if the game ended in a 1-1 draw Houston would advance.

But Manotas made that moot with his strike from some 25 yards out in the 77th minute.

Toronto vs. New York: Toronto FC lost 1-0 to the visiting New York Red Bulls in an abrasive game and still advanced to the MLS Eastern Conference final on away goals after the two-leg series ended tied 2-2 on goals aggregate.

It was a feisty affair that saw Toronto striker Jozy Altidore and Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan sent off after a tunnel melee at halftime. The wild match also featured a pair of disallowed goals and six yellow cards, and a drink thrown at an official from the crowd.

In addition to Altidore, league-leading Toronto will be without star striker Sebastian Giovinco for the next game after his second yellow in two games. TFC will play the Columbus Crew, who advanced 3-4 on aggregate against NYCFC.

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 100th career goal for the sixth-seeded Red Bulls when a long-range shot deflected in off him in the 53rd minute. A Toronto goal by Jonathan Osorio in the 78th was called off due to a foul, apparently for what was considered a shove. Things got even uglier minutes later when a drink was thrown from the stands at referee Chris Penso after he booked Giovinco.

After falling 2-1 at home on Monday night, the Red Bulls needed to win and score at least two goals Sunday to avoid defeat.

Columbus vs. New York City: Columbus advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, beating New York City FC 4-3 in the two-leg series after falling 2-0 in the second game.

The Crew will host the Supporters Shield winner Toronto FC in Game 1 of the conference finals Nov. 21. NYC’s David Villa opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a penalty kick as Zack Steffen dove the wrong way. It came after Josh Williams tripped Rodney Wallace in a non-threatening position at the corner of the 18-yard box. Andraz Struna made it 2-0 in the 53rd on a deflected shot off the head of Crew defender Jonathan Mensah.

In the first leg Tuesday night, Artur started a three-goal outburst for Columbus in the second half, shortly after NYC went down a man, and the Crew won 4-1.


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